Good Food – Not So Good Atmosphere

Another night in Austin, my beloved family member and I met up with some friends to catch up over dinner at Uncle Julios.  First, its a chain – not many of those in Austin.

Second, it was so loud I could barely hear the person at the table sitting right next to me nor could anyone else – let alone the person across the table.  The noise came from a combination of the acoustics in the room, the high ceiling and wide open space as well as from the tables of younger adults, dining out with the purpose to tie one on and scream as much as they can while doing so.

Now… the young adult patrons are welcome to that; and, most of us have been there and done that.  But, you need to be up for that scene if you hit Julios – I am just saying.  We asked the waitress to move our table because we had the young adults in stereo, groups on both sides.  The manager came over and told us it was a no-go since there were no tables available.  Irritating this was since we could see several tables that would have fit our group that were away from the young adults.  Thus, we sat either in silence or yelling at one another with out much success through the meal.  Really a disappointment.

Further, the service was inadequate.  The waitress would leave our table and we would not see her for what seemed like forever.  A couple of time we had to flag down another waitress to get our waitress to bring us some water or chips or whatever.  In fact, the waitress did not bring me the salad dressing I had asked for.  Once I pointed it out, she said she would get right over with it.  I ended up eating my salad with the dressing she brought in error since it took her so long.

The chips were the highlight of the meal. Thin, salty, not greasy and crispy.  The salsa had zing, a great tomato flavor with a bit of smokiness.  The chili con queso was simply the best I ever had.  The cheese was cream and flavorful which was enhanced by the pico de gallo.  I could not stop eating it – which is why I went for a salad for my meal.  My salad was just OK.  Greens, jicama, avocado, shrimp – nothing special.  I ended up with the lemon vinaigrette despite my ask for the spicy ranch.  When the spicy ranch arrived, it really was not that spicy.  My dinner mates were pleased with their fajitas but noted nothing spectacular about them.

As for drinks – a great selection, and I was happy to see a skinny guava marguerita which I ordered.  It was full flavored despite being a skinny.  But, the yummiest of the drinks, hands down was the marguerita with the jalapeño.  The heat with the ice was interesting; and frankly worth every calorie.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a rowdy mexican place with some great drinks – Uncle Julio delivers.  Dont go if you are actually looking to talk with your dinner companions. Remember to be patient with the staff because you won’t see them much; and nurse your drink because you may wait awhile for your next one.

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